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 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Uniflite
Subject Topic: convert to diesel Post ReplyPost New Topic
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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: November 05 2007
Posts: 1
Posted: November 20 2007 at 17:37 | IP Logged Quote Luckytat


Have a 1976 uniflite sport sedan....was thinking of converting engines to diesel....has anyone out there done this?...if so what was the expense?

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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: June 02 2008
Posts: 5
Posted: June 02 2008 at 17:06 | IP Logged Quote pasqualino31

Don't do it!

There are so many hidden hazzards.  I'll get back to you with some details, but I was going to do the same and the Principle Mechanical Engineer at my company talked me out of it.

I know it's tempting with the price of gas and all, but you're bettter off taking your lumps on the gas prices than to try these conversions.  There are structural designs to a diesel boat which are not present on gasoline engine boats.  (It has something to do with ther different air flow etc.)  Like I said, I'll get back to you with some more details later.

Either way, it's a lot of work!  Boating is already too much work sometimes.  The diesel conversion is at best a net loss is time and time is money!

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Joined: December 14 2006
Posts: 46
Posted: June 02 2008 at 20:37 | IP Logged Quote BoatRDavid


I agree with pasqualino31, it isn't worth the expense.  If you want or need to re-power, go with modern gasoline engines.  They're made with much better economy in mind and cost much less.  Plus, in many areas diesel fuel is priced higher than gasoline.


David M. Oates

42 Uniflite SE II, Adventure
San Francisco Bay Area
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MV Gizmo
"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: September 02 2006
Posts: 27
Posted: June 02 2008 at 20:58 | IP Logged Quote MV Gizmo

Have to agree with David.  Unless you are going to keep this boat for your grandkids to inherit, keep the gas, or if need be, put in new gas engines.  Yes, your mileage will be lower than diesel and you will "enjoy" a bit more maintenance than diesel but you will come out ahead.  Used to be that gas engines were good for about 1500 to 1800 hours.  The newer ones typically tend to survive some 2800 to 3000+ hours.
     When I bought my 32', the previous owner had re-powered the year before with BIG 522 CID Mercruisers.  Too much power and will drive that boat far faster then it was ever designed to go (time to re-prop), but in reading a couple of Mercruiser user groups on Yahoo and such, several folks are well past 3000 hours.
     Having had two diesel boats the biggest plus was the ease of maintenance, and back then diesel was almost a buck cheaper a gallon.  That has certainly changed!

Dave / MV Gizmo
1981 32' Sport Sedan

Seattle, WA
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